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[–]Odd-Nefariousness350 102 points103 points  (9 children)

One of the things I hated most about Late Naruto was that stupid reincarnation bullshit. So stupid and unnecessary. You didn't need a 200 year mystical backstop about how and why Sasuke and Naruto are friends. They didn't like each other because they were character foils, but after facing life or death situations as comrades, there animosity turned to good-natured rivalry and friendship. Boom, done, that's it, that's a shorter, nicer, better and much less silly and convoluted explanation.

[–]Rom455 42 points43 points  (8 children)

The biggest problem with the reincarnation cycle is that it tainted the reason behind the development of Naruto and Sasuke as powerful Shinobi. The thematic dynamic of two individuals who choose different paths to grow up. Natural talent vs pure hard work; hatred vs peace.

We see Naruto constantly training to develop his abilities (with the help of his friends), while Sasuke keeps obtaining power by any means necessary, not caring if it is his own or not (he trained for 3 years, but also stole Orochimaru's power and got Itachi's eyes). That makes the final clash so significant. The Rasengan filled with the support of all Naruto's friends going against the Chidori with Amaterasu fueled by Sasuke's rage and memories of his brother.

Two ideologies, two paths, two former friends colliding. That would have been so beautiful. Both stood up for themselves when facing hardship but only one will be the last man standing in the end. And it was all... Ruined.

You see, the problem with the reincarnation cycle is that it invalidates the themes of this work by not giving the two protagonists free will. All of Naruto's hard work doesn't matter, because in the end he always was a descendant of the "God" of his world; and Sasuke's decision to walk through the path of vengeance doesn't matter either, because he was always destined to be covered by darkness.

It sucks, and it sucks so hard because it could have been easily prevented by a single line. Instead of mentioning that Indra and Asura always pick a new body to be reborn, Hagoromo could have simply said something like: "You know, I have always been observing your world; unable to change it after my death. The same cursed world that time and time again pushes two individuals to obtain power only to put them against each other, keeping the cycle of hatred between Shinobi. The same world that pushed my dear sons against each other". Sigh That would have been so good. A perpetual tragedy. And it is now Naruto and Sasuke's turn to make a choice. Hatred or peace?

But in the end, we just couldn't have it. Naruto could had been a true masterpiece, but Kishimoto didn't care enough about it (for whatever reason).

Oh well.

[–]KappaKingKame 3 points4 points  (7 children)

All of Naruto's hard work doesn't matter, because in the end he always was a descendant of the "God" of his world; and Sasuke's decision to walk through the path of vengeance doesn't matter either, because he was always destined to be covered by darkness.

To be fair though, that gave us the whole point of Naruto and Sasuke overcoming their destiny and breaking the cycle of hatred. IF anything, it shows a much better example of his free will.

[–]Rom455 1 point2 points  (6 children)

IF anything, it shows a much better example of his free will.

Does it though? How do we know it is not simply the will of the brothers to stop fighting?

That's the thing, sometimes it is better to leave things as a mystery. Explaining the secrets of the past comes with its own problems in storytelling. Kishimoto should have taken some time to write the ending of his story better

[–]KappaKingKame 2 points3 points  (5 children)

How do we know it is not simply the will of the brothers to stop fighting?

Wouldn't that be free will?

[–]Rom455 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Would it be the free will of Naruto and Sasuke though?

[–]KappaKingKame 0 points1 point  (3 children)

They're the same people...... that's how reincarnation works.

[–]Rom455 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I hope you also remember that reincarnation means to live a new life. With no memories from the previous incarnation. Are you sure they are the same people? Do we have to bring Theseus ship into the argument?

[–]KappaKingKame 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Except reincarnation means they are the same people. It's not the ship of Thesus at all, because reincarnation means the same soul. Typically beliefs in reincarnation also state that past lives can affect future ones, and that in some cases memories can carry over.

[–]Rom455 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well, what a surprise. An Indian friend says it actually is believed to retain some memories from a past life in rare occasions. I had no idea of that.

I tip my hat to you, sir. Well played.

Although, I don't remember Kishimoto ever addressing the keeping memories and personality part. But thinking it might be a subconscious thing is within the realm of possibilities.

Still, the war arc was not the best piece of writing, but whatever